The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 was one of the most violent volcanic events on record. A huge explosion (150 megatons of TNT) occurred as seawater hit hot magma and turned instantly to steam. The blast was heard over 4,000 km away in Australia and India. The Volcano Explosivity Index (VEI) of the eruption was 6 (colossal). See volcanoes for background.
The whole volcano was destroyed because of the massive explosion. Parts of the volcano fell into the sea and caused a giant tsunami (40 meters). The dust from the eruption reached the stratosphere and affected weather worldwide for several years. More than 35,000 people were killed by tsunami and eruption. Only about a third of the pre-1883 island survived the blast.
From 1927 to 1930, there were several underwater eruptions on the site of the old Krakatoa volcano. On August 11, 1930, a new volcano and island appeared. This new volcano and island are called 1 Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa).
The island of Anak Krakatau and the surrounding islands and seas are part of the national park of Ujung Kulon.
Flora and fauna
The easiest way to get in to Krakatoa is by chartering a boat from the west coast of Java (province of Banten). Tour operators can be found in most of the coastal towns, such as Anyer or Carita. The range of the tour fee will be around Rp750,000-3,000,0000, depending on the number of participants and the number of days. The price will include transport, food, accommodation in a tent, and a guide.
A cheaper but more time-consuming way to get to Krakatau is through the island of Sumatra (Lampung province). Lampung can be reached from Java via the frequent ferry service from the port of Merak. From the port of Bakauheni in Lampung, a yellow-coloured angkot (public minivan) can take you to Kalianda for about Rp12,000, and from there to the small harbour of Canti by another angkot (about Rp5,000) or by ojek (motorcycle taxi, Rp10,000). In Canti, you can make a deal with a fisherman, either for a day trip to Krakatau, or for a one-way trip to one of the accommodations. One full-day boat rental will cost you about Rp1,500,000. Around noon, there is a regular boat from Canti to 2 Sebesi island (one way Rp15,000). In Sebesi, you can also charter a fishing boat for a day, cheaper than in Canti.
Beware of strong current and large waves during August, September, October, and November.
Fees and permits
To enter the Kraktau area, tourists must obtain a permit from Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA).
Nearby forest-covered islands include Sebesi and 3 Rakata. On the island of Sebesi, a small village houses a fishing community.
- 1 Penginapan Pulau Sebesi (walking distance from the Sebesi island jetty), ☎ . Simple accommodation provided by the Indonesia Tourism Board. The contact person is Pak Hayun. There are large rooms available (up to 10 persons) and smaller rooms with TV (up to 4 persons). Rp200,000-300,000 for a large room for 10 persons.
Some people in Sebesi island also provide homestays for travellers. The price is negotiable. If you are adventurous enough, you can try this option.
Most of the tour operators in Labuan and Anyer have a camp during the night at Rakata island. You can view the eruption of Krakatoa at night from here.
- Ujung Kulon National Park — the main part of the national park, on the mainland of Java and the island of Panaitan.
- Cilegon — the nearest larger city, on the mainland of Java.